Before attending their first counseling session, most children will have lots of questions, even if they don’t quite know how to ask them. They will probably be dealing with a range of emotions, including anxiety, uncertainty, and even the fear that they’ve done something wrong. Parents who discuss counseling with their children before it begins can help them feel more comfortable. This may lead to more meaningful and productive counseling sessions.
Be Straightforward and Honest
The most important component in any therapy setting is trust. What a parent chooses to talk about will largely depend on the age of their child, but being honest is critical because recovering from deception at the beginning of the process will be very difficult.
Make certain that children understand they are not going to counseling because they need to be “fixed” or as a form of punishment. Parents, this is a good time to take responsibility for some of the changes that may need to be made in the family—explain that the entire family is facing these challenges together so that everyone can get the help they need.
Let Them Make Decisions and Ask Questions
Children who feel like they are being forced to participate are unlikely to open up. Before counseling begins, parents should explain that their child only has to give the sessions a try and that if they don’t like them or the counselor, then they don’t have to continue. Also, parents can encourage their children to ask them about counseling and admit when they don’t know the answer to a question. For children, feeling that they have a say in the process and aren’t in this alone makes a big difference.
Early childhood counseling can help kids with a variety of issues, from developing social skills to anger management. Since 1998, Cross The Bridge Counseling has provided these therapeutic services as well as a range of evaluations and assessments to children and adults in Middleton and Rock Hill. If you’re interested in speaking with one of our therapists, get in touch with us at (845) 342-5789 to learn more.